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Central Texas workers quitting but not staying unemployed

Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 5:12 PM CST
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Killeen, Texas (KWTX) - Texas is taking the lead in what’s being called the Great Resignation, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Because of delays in processing the data, these numbers are from September.

A total of 439,000 Texans quit their jobs in September alone according to the data. Texas saw the largest increase in the number of workers who quit in September.

“People are leaving their current occupations to find better opportunities because right now its a job seekers market,” said Jennifer Brady, a spokesperson for Workforce Solutions of Central Texas which provides services to employers, workers and job seekers and tracks the economic status of Central Texas’ 7 counties.

Brady says contrary to popular belief workers in Central Texas are not quitting their jobs to live on unemployement payments from the government. In fact in most cases in Texas a person cannot receive unemployment payments if they voluntarily quit their jobs. Also, Brady says, the number of unemployment claims being filed in Central Texas is on a decline.

“In November we had about 15,000 unemployment claims that came in so that was mid-November. By the end of November we had 10,000. So its going down in number of unemployment but we still are seeing people resign,” Brady said.

The Workforce Solutions of Central Texas says it believes workers are quitting simply to find better opportunities especially after the COVID-19 pandemic revealed alternative modes of work like work-from-home options.

Service industries like restaurants, they say, have been hit the hardest by what many are calling The Great Resignation.

“The service industry is a tough industry,” said Brady “It’s not easy. Its not for the faint of heart and so many people may be switching to industries that are maybe easier.”

One major force fueling that switch is difficulty accessing childcare. Through the state of Texas the Workforce Solutions of Central Texas have been able to launch a service industry relief fund that pays for childcare for qualified service industry workers for up to a year.

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